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Along the 15 near Baker by Gustavo Hernandez | Word Riot

October 22, 2016      

Along the 15 near Baker by Gustavo Hernandez

a radio signal travels down a small hill,
carried on the winking quartz and granite.
It plays a repeating segment about the Mojave:
cinder cones, rattlers, the importance of cool water.
            The steady voice. The reminder to be careful.

I remind myself of this drive with someone else, before.
He put his left hand on my knee and wondered aloud
if a Joshua Tree could survive in our backyard
            so far south—one more thing we might try to keep alive.

Just like you and I, we didn’t stop for the sand in the Mojave.
Just like us, we didn’t need to talk so much.
I mention these small things to you, but you’re sleeping,
            warm under your own weight, breathing out your own significance.

gustavohernandezAbout the author:

Gustavo Hernandez is a first generation Mexican immigrant. He is thirty-seven years old and was raised in Santa Ana, California. He recently returned to school to pursue a bachelor’s degree in English and thoroughly enjoys overstuffing his backpack with school supplies at the beginning of each semester. His work has been published in Assaracus and Cactus Heart. You can follow him on Instagram @gus1679

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